How to Save Money on your Electricity Bill
Electricity costs can get quite expensive, depending on where you live. This is especially true in the summer. Air conditioning typically uses a lot of electricity, and that can add up to a hefty bill at the end of the month. This means you could be looking for other places to cut, so that you can stay on budget.
It’s always a good idea to look at your expenses and see where you can reduce costs. If you can reduce your electricity bill, even just by a little, that frees up money elsewhere in your budget. This can help make ends meet or give you a little extra to save for emergencies.
Here are some tips for saving money on electricity costs.
Shift your Usage
Many areas have “time of use” electricity charges. This means that you are charged a different rate for using electricity, depending on the time of day. Each area will have different rates and schedules, but the general idea is that you are charged more for electricity use during “peak times” and less for using electricity when demand is lower.
If your utility company bills for electricity in this way, find out when the lowest price time period is and try to shift electricity usage to this time. This works especially well for activities that use a lot of energy, such as running the dishwasher or clothes dryer. Doing these activities in the evening, rather than during the middle of the day, can save you a lot if your electricity provider bills based on time of use.
Hang Your Laundry
One of the biggest energy-users in most homes is the clothes dryer. You can save a lot in electricity costs by hanging your clothing up to dry, rather than using the dryer. This obviously works best during the summer if you have a yard where you can hang a clothesline, but you can also hang loads of clean laundry on a rack indoors to dry. If you choose this option, try to place the rack in a location that gets a lot of sun. This will speed up the drying process.
When you do use the dryer, use a lower heat setting if possible.
Use Cold Water
It costs money to heat the water in your home. This means, whenever possible, try to use cold water. This is especially true when doing laundry. Heating the water in your washing machine accounts for a large percentage of the energy used by the machine. By washing in cold water, you use a lot less energy.
Don’t Use the Drying Method on your Dishwasher
Many dishwashers have a drying method that dries your dishes to prevent water spots and dry your dishes. This is often accomplished by heating the dishes in the dishwasher or by finishing the cycle by using very hot water (which evaporates more quickly than water that is a lower temperature). Most dishwashers that have this feature also give you an option to turn it off.
Disabling the drying method will save you energy and, if you’re worried about water spots, consider using a rinse agent when washing. These agents coat your dishes during the wash, making it more difficult for water to stick to them.
Use Power Bars and Timers
Some appliances use a lot of energy, even when they’re turned off. This is because a lot of modern appliances have some type of “always on” feature that allows them to turn on more quickly or heat up more quickly (as the case may be). This standby power can certainly be costly.
Even electronics such as mobile phone chargers and coffee makers use power when they’re plugged in but not in use. This power usage adds up.
One way to solve this issue is by plugging a lot of your appliances into power strips or power bars and then switching off the bar when you’re not using the devices that are plugged into it.
Of course, you don’t want to do this for all appliances. For instance, your cable box or router will likely take a very long time to start up again if you turn it off completely by switching off the power strip or unplugging it. You might find that this wait is simply too long, especially if you use these devices regularly.